The world has changed. You absolutely need an online presence. Whether you are working your way up the corporate ladder, or starting a side project, setting yourself up online can give you a competitive edge. However, setting yourself up isn’t enough. You need to let people know you are out there so the right people can find you at the right times, when they want your expertise.
To do this, you must learn how to communicate online.
Over the past few years, I have slowly begun to build an online presence. While I was learning, these tools were the ones I relied on the most. I used them in different stages of development. Some I used for inspiration when I was just starting, some I use today.
Below, you will find a list of these tools. The best part? They are all free! What would you add to the list?
Savvy Sexy Social – a good source for social media AND video tips! She also is part of a company called Vlog boss that has some video tips (or can do the entire thing for you if you would like). Bonus: she is fun. You might especially like her editorial calendar for 2014 if you are interested in planning out your videos or blogs ahead of time. She also has a great Twitter guide for setting up your social media plan, but you have to subscribe to her newsletter to get it.
Amy Porterfield – she is known for Facebook marketing and she has a ton of free webinars and other things. She also has one of the best marketing podcasts out there.
Derek Halpern – He is known for teaching psychological principles behind getting people to subscribe to a blog (among other things), but I think that if you are on the fence about starting a blog, you’d like this post at this moment (he is also quite fun) http://socialtriggers.com/build-your-blog/
HubSpot – they are absolutely amazing. Go to their Academy section or their Marketing Library because OH MY GOODNESS they give away so much information for absolutely free. I get pictures, books, templates for blogs and ebooks, EVERYTHING. I love them. And, they are always adding to the list or resources.
Pat Flynn – Specifically, his post about launching a new site and how to do it in a big way. He’s the man!
Hootsuite – you can have an online presence 24/7 with only spending about 40 minutes a day to set up all your marketing. This is a free program that allows you to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, wherever, ahead of time. Sometimes I’ll sit down and schedule posts for two weeks. If you use the editorial calendar I showed you above and know when your content is going out, you’ll be able to schedule the publicity of it and not have to actually be at your computer to do it. If you would like to stay involved and maintain relationships on social media, but don’t want it to get in the way of actual work, this tool is a must. It rocks.
MailChimp – If you would like to collect email addresses (which I HIGHLY recommend that you do so that you can have a rolodex of potential clients when it comes time to offer a product or class or look for a job, or whatever else you may want to do in the future). MailChimp will do this for you for free. It isn’t the best product out there, but it is the best of the free. Once you start getting clients and a list, you’ll want to upgrade to Aweber. They are $20/month. You really should start doing this right away and keep in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis. I know it is a common thought that these things are annoying and no one wants to sell. However, if you don’t need to only contact your subscribers to sell something. You can also give them something. If you are providing value, then this isn’t annoying at all. For instance, I signed up for a 21 day meditation guide with Oprah and Deepak around November. Every morning, I received an email with the day’s meditation. I loved it, because I wanted it. If you do the same thing, you’ll provide value and your customers will look forward to your emails, not dread them.
Canva – If you want to design some pictures, but don’t want to take the time to learn or use PhotoShop, go to Canva. It is incredibly easy. If they say you need an invite, email me and I’ll see if I can get you one.
Schedule Once – This is a free service (they have paid and free options) that allow customers to book you online. The applications here are endless. You get to decide how far in advance, your schedule, how long the appointment is, etc. This way, you can let them book on the spot without the constant back and forth that comes with, “well when can you make it? I can’t make it then, how about this time? No, ok, what about three Tuesdays from now?” and do on. I’m using it now to book my podcast interviews. I have the free version, but I hear the paid version is really much better (free works fine).
This is a small, but basic list. What would you add? How do you make sure your online communication is clear and effective? I want to know, and so does everyone else, so leave it in the comments below!
Sandy empowers the young and talented to increase their power and influence by improving their ability to be heard and be clear. She does this by providing access to rigorously tested research in the communication, psychology, and marketing fields.